Sunday, October 25, 2009


This morning I woke up grumpy. Last night I was exhausted and I failed to prepare for church on Saturday night. I purposefully did not iron my son's clothes. I purposefully did not get the hair bows ready. I purposefully did not wash a day's worth of dishes. Instead I went to bed and promised myself to get up on the first alarm with no snooze so that I could iron and wash the dishes. Amazingly I kept my promise and got up before everyone and began my shower. After I got dressed I entered the children's room and was immediately bombarded by six children:

"Mommy, where's my church clothes?"
"Mommy, where's my white dress? I can't find it!"
"Mommy, should I where my brown or black shoes?"
"Mommy, I poopy."
"Mommy, can you help me find a white shirt? Why can't I wear white tights?" (As she proceeds to put her dress on inside out.)
Meanwhile a little chunky baby with two fingers in her mouth and a sippy cup tucked in her arm, is trying to sit on my lap with a soggy diaper.

My response:
"There is only one of me!! Bradley, your church clothes are in my room. I need to iron them. Sarah, your white dress is downstairs. Emily, I don't care if you where brown or black! Just get dressed, but black goes best with that dress! Jason, lay down and I'll change your diaper. Wendy, I'll get your shirt in a minute. You're putting your dress on inside out and you can't wear white tights because I'm not going to take the time to look for them right now. I already have the socks." Meanwhile I am avoiding Rachel so I don't get my church skirt soaked with urine.

Then I turned on some children's hymns and told the children to stop talking and listen to the music. I curled the girl's hair. I ironed the clothes. I changed the diaper. I found the clothes, but failed to find two matching socks for Bradley and he ended up wearing sandals to church. I couldn't find anything for Rachel to wear and was completely frustrated until Wendy found the dress I was looking for and gave it to me. David took the kids downstairs to eat breakfast while I dried my hair and finished getting ready. I was still grumpy because I knew there was still a messy kitchen to welcome me in a few minutes. I went downstairs and took a few bites of my cereal when the phone rang. It's never a good thing when the phone rings on a Sunday morning at 8:30. My husband was about to answer the phone when I grumpily said, "Tell them, 'No'!" Even though I didn't know who it was or why they were calling, I knew I didn't want to do it. My husband read the caller ID and it was the teacher that was scheduled to teach Relief Society today. I knew what she was calling to tell me before I answered. Of course I couldn't say no to a woman with 4 sick children and who was feeling sick herself. I told her I would teach the lesson and told her to get her family well. When I hung up, my husband asked, "What's the lesson?" Ironically, it was titled, "Be of Good Cheer." My husband said, "You know about that." I think I detected some sarcasm in his voice. I started to cry and I apologized.

I feel bad. It was my fault this woman's children were sick! I think my Heavenly Father was trying to tell me something today by making me teach this lesson.

The lesson went well. It basically told 3 stories about people who kept their faith and good cheer during very difficult times. One of the stories was about a woman who was going to West Germany by foot in post WWII. She had 4 children and they all died from freezing or starvation on the way. She had to dig each one a grave by hand using just a small tablespoon. She was so sad and wanting to end her own life because of the despair, but she endured and finally made it to her destination. She testified that her knowledge that she would be with her family again someday because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what got her through the difficult time.

It's a heart wrenching story, but it puts things into perspective. My dirty kitchen and unironed clothes aren't that bad. Things could be worse. One woman in class who has been through difficult times gave some good advice. She said sometimes you have to fake the cheerfulness and eventually it becomes genuine. She also mentioned that there is probably always someone who has it worse.

After church we ate, took naps, and "restored order" to the home which means we did some cleaning to make Mommy happy. I have a Comet soaked kitchen sink right now. I should have a bright white kitchen sink to greet me in the morning.

And I'll leave you with a scripture:

Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

That's it. I'm going to be cheerful because I don't want osteoporosis.


  1. I do not think that God made that woman's family sick just to teach you a lesson; that would not be in character for God's love for HER family, as well as yours.

    And, you DO know of good cheer! You have kept your chin up throughout this past year and that is very admirable indeed. Fortunately we have a God who is big enough and loving enough to let us be honest with him with our shortcomings and to rely on him for strength because our own just isn't enough. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." It's Christ who is the focus here, not us.

  2. I know I didn't make those kids sick. My mind just has a tendency to think that way. I enjoyed the irony of being grumpy and having to teach that lesson. It helped me to put things into perspective. The past several weeks have been a bit overwhelming for me. Thanks for reminding me that I am usually of good cheer.

  3. Once again, you inspire me. I'm full of admiration for you.

  4. Good story-my days like that are always fun! (sarcasm intended). I'm reading a book called "The Mom Walk" and she focuses on that Prov.17:22 verse this week. So true! Good reminders!!